Breath & Blood Tests in North Carolina
Arrested? Contact a Wilmington DUI Attorney Today
When a person is arrested under suspicion of
driving while intoxicated (DWI) in North Carolina, they are taken to the police station and asked to submit
to a blood or breath test to measure their blood alcohol concentration
(BAC). Refusal to take this test is an offense in and of itself and can
worsen a person’s DWI case considerably.
If you have been arrested for DWI or have refused a mandatory breath or
blood test, contact
James Rutherford, Attorney at Law today. Having fought to defend the rights of countless accused drunk drivers
for more than a decade, our powerful Wilmington DUI lawyer can provide
the aggressive representation you need to minimize your chances of serving
Other reasons to trust our firm with your case include:
- Top-rated for ethics and skill (AV® Rated)
- Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
- Certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing
Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠
Call (910) 595-1377 or
fill out an online form today to discuss your charges during a free case review.
What Happens If I Refuse a Test?
Under North Carolina’s “implied consent” law, by being
a licensed driver on the state’s roads, you have already consented
to any breath or blood test that an officer should request in the event
of your lawful arrest for drunk driving. This test must be taken at any
relevant time after you have been driving, with courts having authorized
tests to be taken as much as three hours and forty-five minutes after
a driver person had driven.
While refusing a breath or blood test is a crime in some states, refusing
a test in North Carolina may only invoke civil penalties in the form of
suspension of your driver’s license by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for up to one year. What the
police usually do not tell you, however, is that you may request a special
refusal hearing with the DMV to challenge your suspension. Time is of
the essence though, as you will only have 10 days to request this hearing
before your license is automatically suspended.
What Rights Do I Have?
In addition to letting you know that you that you will lose your license
if you refuse a test, a police officer must also inform you of several
other rights prior to administering a test. These include:
- The right to contact an attorney
- The right to have a witness present to observe the test
- The right to seek your own independent blood or urine test
In addition, if this is your first refusal and you have not been convicted
of DWI within the past seven years, you may be able to obtain a hardship
license allowing you to regain limited driving privileges after you have
served six months of your suspension. This option does not apply if you
caused an accident which caused severe injury or death to another person.
Let Us Fight to Maintain Your Driving Privileges
At James Rutherford, Attorney at Law, our
Wilmington criminal defense lawyer understands that good people can find themselves in difficult situations.
By examining the circumstances of your arrest, your subsequent test, and
the applicability of its results in court, our team can craft a customized
strategy on your behalf and minimize your chances of having your license
suspended. From representing you at your DMV suspension hearing to negotiating
with prosecutors, we can ensure your rights are protected at every turn.
There is no time to waste.
Get in touch with us online today to discover your legal options.